Nursing Notes

April 27, 2010

Do We Still Need Nurses Week?

Filed under: Nursing — Shirley @ 11:21 pm
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Branch Hospital Nurses 1908 - Historical Cinci...
Image by vernon_dutton via Flickr

National Nurses Week.  Hmmm.  That is coming soon, isn’t it?  I think the 6th of May will kick it off and it continues until the 12th.  Wow!! Big celebrations coming, right?  Wrong!

My past experience with this phenomenon leads me to be quite skeptical of the whole ordeal.  What usually happens is the “suits” of the hospital administration come to the units to “serve” the nurses some ice cream, lunch, snack, etc.  You can fill in the item based on your own experiences.  However, this usually only occurs on the day shift because we don’t really expect the administration to work our crazy hours do we?

The next thing that happens is every nurse in the facility will be given a special Nurses Week gift.  In the past, I have received plastic mugs, canvas bags, book bags,  flowers, pens and badge holders, magnets, towels with the hospital logos, t-shirts, and once I even received a very special gift, a camping fold-up chair.  Really, you can never have enough of this stuff, right?

After all the above, do I feel valued and special because I am a nurse and do my job to the best of my abilities?  No.  Anyone who believes that I should needs to have a reality check done.  None of those things had anything to do with my profession or my place in the facility.  All of those “gifts” were generic things purchased in bulk to be handed out to every nurse during this week.

I do commend the administration for making the effort, but the result is too little, too late.  Nurses want to be able to nurse properly without being harrassed and harried.  Nurses want to have some type of voice in patient care and nursing care in their facilities.

So, because this week is fast approaching, I am including this article below.  Enjoy.


Rebecca Hendren, Editor
Each year, in hospitals across the nation, Nurses Week is marked by the parade of suits from the C-Suite bringing lunch or snacks to the units, the traditional exchange of trinkets, and mandatory maudlin accounts of the angelic nature of nursing. Is it just me, or is anyone else uncomfortable about the tradition and hoopla? Why do we need Nurses Week? Few other healthcare professions receive such singular attention. [Read More]
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  1. I’ve merged all position-specific celebrations into one week-long celebration called Staff Appreciation. The only other manager of our 6 clinics and I cooked a lunch each day for a site, we had some games for each site with prizes (the grand prize being 8 hours of time off) a massage therapist spent the day around the sites giving chair massages, on Friday we had a jeans day, and each employee received a small gift certificate good for the stores and restaurants around town. I really knocked myself out for the week but I was very glad to do it because I appreciate the staff and I wanted them to know I put some THOUGHT and my own labor. It’s what you do for people that you truly appreciate.

    I hope some nurses get more than a mug this year.

    Mary Pat

    Comment by Mary Pat Whaley — May 2, 2010 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

    • Mary Pat,
      Thank you for that wonderful comment. What a lucky group of employees you have. You really did take time to think about what they would really want and then put personal effort into making it happen. I hope the lucky winner of the day off said a big “Thank you”! I’d have to say that your celebration really makes that bag or mug look pretty pitiful. Hopefully, more people will see the benefit of doing something like you did. I bet the ROI was truly happy and productive staff.
      I hope we have a chance to continue to talk. I enjoyed hearing your experience.


      Comment by Shirley Williams — May 2, 2010 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

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